One Track Mind: Zigaboo Modeliste, "Holiday Kiss" (2011)

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Drummer Zigaboo Modeliste, the grease-popping soul stylist of Meters fame, settles into a creamy seasonal groove here — sounding in no small way like chitlin-circuit crooner Tyrone Davis.

Appearing on this year’s New Life, a genre-busting triumph, “Holiday Kiss” turns the typical Christmas-time theme on its ear — following the distinctly un-saccharine story of a distraught suitor who must accept a smooch under the mistletoe, and nothing more, from someone who’s never noticed his love. It’s a delightfully straight-forward R&B blues, and another example of why Modeliste’s fourth solo album is such a showcase for his layered, thrillingly complex talents — not just as one of pop music’s most important drummers, but as a modern-day rhythm-and-blues composer, as well.

[SOMETHING ELSE! INTERVIEW: Zigaboo Modeliste talks about key moments with the Meters, hanging with the Rolling Stones, and how he taught himself to play by not playing.]

“Holiday Kiss” is available for purchase from JZM Records through Zigaboo Modeliste’s Web site. He’s joined here by keyboardists Joe Krown and Larry Sieberth along with a trio of sweetly swinging backup singers and a delicately arranged string accompaniment from the dearly departed Wardell Quezergue.

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Nick DeRiso

Nick DeRiso

Nick DeRiso has written for USA Today, American Songwriter, All About Jazz, and a host of others. Honored as columnist of the year five times by the Associated Press, Louisiana Press Association and Louisiana Sports Writers Association, he oversaw a daily section named Top 10 in the U.S. by the AP before co-founding Something Else! Nick is now associate editor of Ultimate Classic Rock.
Nick DeRiso
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